mAd Ben Deglazed

Amazing what culinary prowess is revealed when a creative advertising executive can’t go out to NYC restaurants for a while.

From his great UWS kitchen, with a Whole Foods nearby. And plenty of good wine. Which must always be consumed after uncorking it for the deglaze.

Pork Tenderloin w/ Zucchini & Mushrooms


1 lb. pork tenderloin. Pat dry and season on all sides with and rub into the meat a little garlic powder, then sea salt & pepper. Lighter on the salt.

In a dry, hot cast iron skillet, sear & brown the tenderloin on all sides. As you turn the tenderloin, press in dried rosemary with the back of a spoon. Once all sides are browned, put skillet into a preheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small fry pan, brown a small zucchini and a few mushrooms, sliced. Season with ground black pepper to taste.

Remove the pork loin from the oven to a plate. Let rest for 10 minutes while you open a bottle of a nice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and deglaze the skillet with 1 cup. Stir with all the bits from the tenderloin. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and reduce the sauce by half.

Slice the tenderloin and plate with the zucchini, mushrooms and resulting sauce over the pork. And. Savor the rest of the Pinot.


Chicken Breasts w/ Lemon & Capers



Lightly pound boneless skinless chicken breasts. Coat with bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Put water to boil in a large pot and add pasta until al dente & drain. In a fry pan, brown chicken on both sides in olive oil. Put chicken on a plate.

To the fry pan add butter and stir until browned, deglaze with a little Savignon Blanc. Add juice of 1 lemon, a mashed garlic clove, and capers with a little of their brine. Stir sauce until heated and slightly reduced. Add back chicken breasts and pasta to the fry pan.

Serve chicken with all the sauce on the pasta. And. Of course. Enjoy with the wine.




Seared Sea Scallops

Fresh sea scallops from Whole Foods on Columbus Circle. Season with ground black pepper. In a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil on high heat, sear scallops to a golden brown on each side. Add a little butter and brown. Deglaze with a dry French white wine. Serve with fresh greens vinaigrette and a baguette.

And. De rigueur. Sip the rest of the Sancerre.





– Ben Levine



Pork Chop w/ Mustard Sauce & Tangy Artichoke Slaw

Another gem from mAd Ben




Drain liquid from one can of quartered artichoke hearts into bowl. Add 1/3 cup of Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp. paprika, 1 tsp. cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Blend.

Artichoke Slaw

Chop drained hearts into strips as if they’re going into a chopped salad and put in separate bowl. Squeeze half lemon over artichokes, add 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss together in bowl and put to side.

Loin Pork Chop

Rub garlic powder, salt and pepper on both sides of pork chop. In skillet, add tbsp olive oil and bring to heat. Place pork chop in skillet. Should immediately sizzle. Brown both side of chop (1 minute each). Put chop in preheated over 300 degrees for 10 minutes or until 130 degrees internal temp. Remove pork chop and place aside on plate to rest.


In skillet, turn down heat and add 2 tbsp butter as well as sauce mix (if you need an excuse to open a bottle of white wine, add a splash of that too). Lightly scrape bottom of skillet, mix contents, let simmer for 5 minutes. Add chop back to skillet and spoon sauce over for 1 minute.

Plate pork chop and pour sauce from skillet over it with artichoke slaw on top.

– Ben Levine



Pork Chop Stretch

Fresh Direct delivered 4 bone-in pork chops.

Making everything stretch as much as possible:

Meal #1. Season 2 chops with salt & pepper & garlic salt. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat, brown both sides with no oil until forms a golden crust on each side. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. In the skillet, add a little butter, balsamic vinegar and scrape pan to incorporate crispy cracklings. Serve sauce over pork chops with rice & peas.

Meal #2. Brown 1 seasoned chop on both sides on the bottom of a stock pot. Use a little olive oil. Add a diced sweet onion and brown (optional). Deglaze with a little dry red wine. Add 1 can whole Cento San Marzano tomatoes, season with oregano, basil, garlic salt, ground pepper, pepperoncini flakes. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer until sauce is thick and pork chop falls apart, tender and moist. Serve with pasta and grated romano/parm cheese.

Meal #3. Brown the remaining pork chop and cut into small pieces. Use any leftover pork from meal #1 and cut up as well. In a large sauce pan, brown 1 sliced onion, the pork, and a sliced bell pepper and a sliced chili pepper. Add 1 can black or kidney beans. Stir. Add 1 jar favorite salsa. Stir. Season if necessary depending on the salsa with a little cumin and cayenne. Stir. Cover and simmer for an hour. Uncover until thickens for a chili dip or in a bowl with grated cheddar.

Pan Seared Pork Chops

Serves 2.

Dredge 2 thick bone-in pork chops in flour. Shake off excess flour. Season/rub with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder on each side.

In a heavy skillet, with no oil, sear the pork chops on high heat until golden brown on each side. Remove to plate.

Reduce heat to medium low and add olive oil and a pat or two of butter. Add a minced shallot and when browned, deglaze with a 1/2 cup white wine. Stir and reduce by half.

Put pork chops back into the pan and stir into sauce for a few minutes.

Plate with sauce and your favorite starch and veg.

Pulled Pork Tenderloin

2 lb. pork tenderloin cut in half crosswise. In a large stock pot, brown 2 thickly sliced sweet onions in a little olive oil. Brown both pieces of the pork on all sides.

Season with garlic powder, ground black pepper, cayenne to taste. Add 1 bottle of Pilsner Urquel beer, or other Oktober brew of your choice. Bring to boil.

Turn to low and add spicy barbecue sauce of your choice. I used Maple Chipotle and a little Sesame Sriracha.  2 cups total. Cover and simmer for 4-6 hours, until meat is easily pulled apart.

Pour out excess liquid. Pull the meat and put back into stock pot. Add more barbecue sauce to taste. Add 1 can Great Northern white beans. Simmer uncovered for another 1/2 hour.

Serve over braised red cabbage.

Panko Pork Chops

2 medium thick pork chops, bone in. Dry both sides on paper towels.Brush each side with olive oil, and dip into a shallow dish of seasoned panko crumbs.

In a heated skillet sear chops on both sides until crispy. Remove. Fry slices of sweet and hot peppers and onions in a little olive oil until brown. Move to sides of pan and place pork chops in the middle. Add favorite Sriracha sauce to the peppers and onions. Not on the chops.

Cover pan and turn to low for 20 minutes until chops are heated through. Juicy and tender. Serve with the vegs.

Pork Tenderloin Steaks

After years of looking for recipes for pork tenderloin, it’s clear that butterflying and grilling with a rub is most flavorful. But, it dries out. And, winter is here. The moistest tenderest methodology I’ve found is the following:

Cut the loin crosswise into 4-5 chunks, depending on length and size. Between two sheets of cling wrap, pound out the slices, both sides, so that they flatten to a little steak of about 1/2″.

Marinate in a favorite sauce. I like Stonewall Kitchen Teriyaki, Sriracha, Wasabi Ginger, or Maple Chipotle sauces. I also add a little balsamic vinegar. Coat both sides of pork tenderloin slices. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or more.

When ready to cook, bring to room temperature. Sauté and brown 2 julienned bell peppers, a chile or jalapeño pepper and a sliced onion in a large frying pan in a little olive oil. Push to outer sides of pan.

Take pork tenderloin steaks out of marinade, pat dry and sear on both sides. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth and stir to deglaze. Add more fresh sauce over the meat.

Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked through but still pink. Serve topped with peppers, onions and sauce juices over rice.

Glazed Pork Roast

3 – 5 lbs. bone-in pork loin roast. Serves 4-6.

For the glaze: In a medium saucepan, brown 1/2 onion chopped in a little olive oil. Add 1 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp. thyme. Boil to reduce by half and put in a pyrex cup. In the saucepan, boil 2 cups chicken stock, boil to reduce to 1 cup. Add back the balsamic reduction. Stir in 1 cup molasses, honey or maple syrup. Stir in 1 tbs. Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 tbs. garlic powder. Boil until thickened. Let cool.

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Pat dry 3-5 lb. pork loin roast bone-in. Put in a large roasting pan. Score the fat on top in cross-hatched pattern, not too deep, with tip of knife. Sprinkle sea salt on top. Brush glaze over the roast, making sure it penetrates the slits.

Put in the very high pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove roast and turn oven to 275 degrees. Wait until oven reduces to 350 degrees and put a cookie sheet of water under roasting pan. Put roast back in on middle rack for 2 hours.

Pork Roast en Cocotte

It’s Fall. Time for a fan fave. Slow braise on top of the stove.

2-3 lb. pork loin roast, bone-in. Cut slits in the fat side of the roast and insert slivers of fresh garlic and a couple whole black peppercorns in each. Push them into the slits.

Brown roast on all sides in olive oil on high heat in a large stock pot. Remove to a plate.

Into the stockpot, add chopped leek, small onion, celery greens, carrot, parsnip for a mirepoix bed. Brown. Add a few more peppercorns. Pour in 1 cup chicken broth, stir vegetables. Put roast on top of vegetables, cover and bring to boil. Turn to lowest heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Add 3-4 coarsely chopped carrots, celery stalks, quartered onions, 6-8 small red potatoes, or quarter 3 large. Season with a little dried thyme, salt to taste. Cover and simmer for another hour or until vegetables are cooked but not mushy.



I sometimes use white wine with broth, but never too much liquid, about a cup or two total.

A chopped parsnip is also good with the carrots and other vegetables.

Chopped turnips can be substituted for the potatoes.

Fresh garden peas can be added 15 minutes before serving.

Colitti Spaghetti

They rhyme in our world. Like confetti.

It’s a deep, thick sauce made with pork chop, bone-in. Serves 6.

In a stock pot, brown a large bone-in pork chop and 1/2 sweet onion, chopped.

Add 1 16-oz. can whole tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves, shredded
Dried oregano to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup of Chianti or dry red wine

Bring to boil, then turn to low. Let simmer uncovered for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally.

Pork should fall off the bone, tender and juicy. Remove the bone. Sauce should be dark and rich. What we Colitti’s called “dirty”.

Serve with Spaghetti and freshly grated romano-parmesan mix and garlic bread.